Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest: there’s no other place like it on the planet. As one of the world’s largest remaining coastal temperate rainforests, some of the richest and most wondrous ecosystems on Earth are found here. It is also home to many First Nations.
Over the years that I’ve been working on this two decade-long campaign to safeguard the Great Bear Rainforest, I have met incredible people, spent time in deeply-rooted communities and have learned some truly wondrous things about this place.
Here are my top seven facts about the Great Bear Rainforest:
1. There are at least 26 First Nations whose unceded traditional territories make up the Great Bear Rainforest.
2. First Nations have ancient village sites going back at least 10,000 years, if not longer.
3. Cedar trees and their use have been deeply intertwined with the cultural and spiritual life of First Nations for millennia.
4. The rare, elusive white Spirit Bear can only be found in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.
5. Why do trees grow so large in the old-growth forests of the Great Bear? Because bears leave their partially eaten salmon in the forest, like offerings, for the trees and soil to absorb the nutrients. In fact salmon DNA has been found in the old trees!
6. The threatened marbled murrelet doesn’t build a nest. Instead makes a depression in the moss found in the canopy of old-growth trees.
If you haven’t visited this magnificent part of the world, you need to go! If you have visited, share with us your own top seven in the comments.
Eduardo Sousa is senior forest campaigner for Greenpeace Canada.
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